New Zealand industry veteran Gary Walker retires
The Education and Entertainment Group (TEEG) recently celebrated the retirement of Gary Walker, who headed up the TEEG New Zealand business.
Walker founded Coin Cascade in 1978 along with Stuart Jones, growing the New Zealand company into a leader in the out-of-home entertainment sector. Initially purchasing, manufacturing and siting games around the local area, Gary and Stuart grew the company to become a country-wide presence, opening Time Out FECs around Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North and Dunedin, as well as joining a number of street-side operators.
Company milestones for Coin Cascade have included partnering LAI Group in 1997, leading to all stand-alone venues being converted to Timezone, and purchasing of Xtreme Botany, the first of the company’s bowling-led entertainment centres.,
Coin Cascade was more recently rebranded as TEEG NZ. Under Gary’s leadership the business grew successfully as market leaders and overcame many challenges, such as navigating through the life-changing Christchurch earthquakes and the global financial crisis. In Gary’s final month with TEEG, he assisted in steering the company through the crisis of Coronavirus.
“Gary has steadied the helm and been a consistent source of motivation, information and encouragement to us all. Gary has a wealth of experience and the ability to create and retain a strong leadership team. I have been privileged to share this journey with him and to have built this long-lasting association,” said Sonaal Chopra, TEEG Group CEO.
Malcolm Steinberg, the founder of LAI Group said: “I have known Gary Walker since 1985, when he started buying games from the LAI group. We developed a close relationship and, in 1997 we acquired a minority equity in his operating company, Coin Cascade. Gary has always been the market leader in New Zealand and is considered to be an industry pioneer in the country. I wish Gary, his wife Kate and daughters Lucy and Molly every success in their future endeavours.”
Following Gary’s retirement, the country continues to work through the COVID-19 recovery plan where all venues have now resumed trading.
“A new leadership team has been put in place with TEEG New Zealand overseen by Belinda Falzon. Belinda is already part of the TEEG Business in Australia and heads up the company’s premium Kingpin brand as Chief Operations Officer. Belinda has been within the business for over six years and has extensive experience across all its brands.
Along with Belinda, Greg Barkley who has been in the business for many years continues to head up Operations for New Zealand and oversee the business locally,” said Chopra.